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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece, Australia sign social security cooperation memorandum
  • [02] KKE leader on local gov't elections
  • [03] SEB competitiveness forum in December

  • [01] Greece, Australia sign social security cooperation memorandum

    A cooperation memorandum paving the way, following a decade of negotiations, for a bilateral agreement on social security to be reached between Greece and Australia has been signed in Sydney by Employment and Social Security Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos and his Australian counterpart Kay Patterson.

    The memorandum contains the basic principles that will govern the bilateral agreement which will be prepared as soon as possible and will settle long-outstanding issues concerning the social insurance rights of thousands of members of the Greek community in Australia.

    According to the framework of principles agreed upon, the agreement being shaped will not change arrangements concerning people already receiving an Australian old age pension, but aims at supporting people in Greece and Australia who, for the time being, are not entitled to a pension from the other cocuntry.

    During his stay in Australia, Panayiotopoulos held consecutive meetings with representatives of the Greek community, as well as with representatives of the country's political world.

    [02] KKE leader on local gov't elections

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga, at a press conference she gave in Athens on Tuesday, said that "the battle for local government constitutes a great opportunity for the people to change the correlation of the forces."

    Papariga, who presented the recent positions of the party's Central Committee in view of the municipal and prefectural elections, said that next year's elections "have a general political character given that there are no ballots above the parties." She said that "therefore, the candidates are carriers of the policies of their parties, and for this reason the vote in these elections must be given on the basis of the country's general problems."

    Also, the KKE Secretary called on the voters to further denounce the "partnership" between the ruling New Democracy party, the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party (Synaspismos), "because it is a very serious fact that these three parties are one voice and one punch against the people."

    Papariga said that the mayors and prefects which have been supported by the three parties "support the taxation of the citizens and co-exist with capital."

    [03] SEB competitiveness forum in December

    The Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) will organise a two-day open forum on competitiveness and growth in Athens on December 5-6 in an effort, as was stressed during a press conference on Tuesday, to sensitise Greek society on the fact that "competitiveness concerns all of us."

    SEB Vice President Dimitris Daskalopoulos presented the Federation's initiative, pointing out that "all over Europe there is concern over the improvement of the economy's competitiveness, but we must be more concerned because we must cover a great distance in all competitiveness indicators."

    He also said that the improvement of competitiveness is the only way to prevent the collapse of the European growth model with social cohesion and that the forum's target is not to analyse who is to blame for the low level of competitiveness but to register specific targets, measures and timetables to achieve them.


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